Leonardo De Sá has written to us about the loss of two experts on the history of comics in Portugal:
Two long-time friends of mine died in the last month — I knew them both for more than 40 years. Two great experts on comics too. Not only in Portugal but in any country.
I wrote a number of books with the first to go, the guy who *introduced* me to Portuguese comics, so to speak, and to the necessity to research and write about local matter much more than about foreign stuff. That was António Dias de Deus, an MD who loved comics and who spent hours every week away from his practice in the National Library researching rare magazines and newspapers and taking notes with those doctors' hieroglyphs that many times he had difficulty understanding himself. He wrote a great number of articles always using a very old typewriter because he never understood newer technologies. I remember that his brother once offered him a more modern electrical typewriter when his old model had broken down and the very next morning he called me over the phone just to vent because the darn thing of course wouldn't work: "the paper leaves automatically eject when I push the button to go to the next line!" He knew 19th century and early 20th century Portuguese comics back when hardly anyone else had even heard about comics from that period or about any of the earlier artists. And he was assuredly one of the most knowledgeable persons I've ever met, both in the comics medium and elsewhere. Unfortunately he suffered a number of strokes so he was no longer able to function properly for more than a decade. Check http://divulgandobd.blogspot.com/2018/11/dias-de-deus-1936-2018.html
The second friend to depart, Jorge Magalhães, was not only a real expert in many areas of comics and its history (British, French, Italian, Spanish, etc) but he was also the editor of a great number of Portuguese comic books. My very first articles about comics were published by him back in 1978 or 1979... And he wrote many comics himself as well, for a number of notable Portuguese artists. Regarding the history of comics his focus was the 1930s onwards. He kept odd hours just like I also do and many times we discussed common interests over the phone way past midnight. He maintained a number of blogs about comics, until the end of his life. His (French artist) wife has just announced his passing in his main blog: https://ogatoalfarrabista.wordpress.com/ .
Besides the regrettable and irreparable loss of dear friends, it now seems I'm the last one still actively researching the history of comics left in the country. I so wish it was otherwise…
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